Cloud-free use of Wyze plugs, firmware hack requested

Wyze wall plugs are a relatively new product by Wyze and they are among the cheapest smart wall plug on market right now, going for less than $10 per plug when purchased in a pack of 4 with free shipping. They also have a perfect form factor for nearly every wall socket configuration. Thus they are of considerable interest to home automation enthusiasts now and will continue to be of emerging enthusiasm for future adopters.

HA integration with wyze plugs is adequate. This github project allows HA access to the Wyze API and after installing the API I had no trouble finding and controlling the wall plugs across the local network with no further configuration. As an added security measure, I used controls on my router to restrict my wall plugs to local network access only and disabled their connection to the global internet. I also wanted to evaluate whether I had effectively moved from an activation input -> Wyze cloud -> local Wyze plug arrangement to an activation input -> local Home Assistant -> local Wyze plug setup, where I was no longer depended on a working Wyze cloud server to use their products.

However, disabling their global internet connection caused my Wyze plugs to revolt. They continued to respond to HA commands for several seconds after I shut their internet off but then they became sluggish and unresponsive to HA. Eventually I was left with a pitch-black room lit only by a dim cacophony of blinking status LEDs from my Wyze plugs. This is concerning because it indicates despite having local control over the plugs through their API, these plugs still depend on a working Wyze cloud server to operate.

My desire is a firmware hack, and ‘adjustment’ really, that allows the Wyze plugs to lose connectivity to the Wyze cloud server gracefully and continue to accept commands over the local network.

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I would consider reaching out to WyzeLabs, a young US company, to respectfully request they make their products handle lost connection to the internet more gracefully. But I don’t want to point out that hobbiests are using their API for homebrewed control over their plugs - lest they react badly and take this away from us.

What does the Wyze plug do when the connection to the internet is down? Seems that we could play some networking games to make it think that the internet is always down.